Faith in Action Blog
The picture to the right comes from the College’s Facebook page. It depicts three of the College’s newest alumni — Nathan Dunlap (’12), Kellie Schramm (’12), and Noel Bulger (’12) — beside a stack of (almost all of) the great books they read while students in the College’s integrated academic program.
Although they have all completed the same curriculum, these three graduates plan to serve the Church and society in three distinct ways: Mr. Dunlap will be working as an animator, with hopes of one day making films. Miss Schramm will become a teacher for Mother of Divine Grace School, a distance-learning program. And on Commencement Day, Mr. Bulger accepted a commission as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
William Sockey (’75) and the National Pilgrim Virgin StatueAmong the many Thomas Aquinas College alumni who are actively defending religious freedom in the face of the HHS Mandate is Bill Sockey (’75) — and he is doing it through prayer.
As the Custodian of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue, blessed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI and given to the United States by the Bishop of Fatima in 1967, Mr. Sockey brings the statue to dioceses across the United States. In this capacity and with the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF), he has for the last three years promoted a campaign urging Catholics to make reparation for the sins of the country and to pray daily for national peace.
Now, as a consequence of the HHS mandate, a new intention has been added to this prayer — as requested by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — for the preservation of religious freedom. So far over 25,000 new members of WAF have pledged to say this prayer and make this reparation every day.
The prayer is:
“O my God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee and I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love thee.
“O my Jesus, I accept and bear with submission whatever suffering I will encounter today for love of You, for the conversion of sinners and as reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Previously Mr. Sockey served as the vice-president of Catholics United for the Faith and the World Apostolate of Fatima as well as the executive director of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, the Couple to Couple League for Natural Family Planning, and the St. Thomas More Center for Catholic Family Life.
For more information about the World Alliance of Fatima — including arranging a visit of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue to your diocese, see — www.wafusa.org.
Last weekend St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., was the setting for Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite for the first time since adopting the vernacular shortly after Vatican II. Serving as celebrant was Rev. John Paul Erickson (’02), Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Worship for St. Paul and Minneapolis. More photos from the Mass are available at the New Liturgical Movement website.
After graduating from the College in 2002, Fr. Erickson returned to his native Minnesota as a seminarian. In 2006, he was ordained to the holy priesthood at the hands of the Most Rev. Harry Flynn, Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He then went on to serve as an associate pastor at the Cathedral of Saint Paul, the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul, and the Church of Saint Agnes. Since 2008 he has served in his current position as the Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Worship while still assisting at Saint Agnes.
Fr. MoriartyNotably Fr. Erickson will soon be working with a new pastor at Saint Agnes — his fellow graduate, Rev. Mark Moriarty (’95). Ordained to the priesthood in 1999, and currently the pastor of Mary, Queen of Peace in Rogers, Minn., Fr. Moriarty has been named the new pastor of Saint Agnes effective July 1. He will be replacing Rev. John Ubel, the newly appointed rector of the Cathedral of Saint Paul and pastor of the Cathedral parish .
Commencement 2007At 9:30 this morning Sr. Miriam Thérèse of the Holy Face, O.C.D. (Kelly Waldman ’07), made her solemn profession at the Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in Valparaiso, Neb. The Bishop of Lincoln, the Most Reverend Fabian Bruskewitz, offered Mass and received her final vows.
The date of this blessed event is significant on a number of levels: It is the liturgical anniversary of Sr. Miriam Thérèse’s first profession; the anniversary of her entrance into the Carmelite Order; and the anniversary of the canonization of her patroness, St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Of course it is also Ascension Thursday, of particular relevance to Sr. Miriam Thérèse’s religious name, because this was the last day Our Lord’s Holy Face was seen on earth before He returned to His Father in heaven.
Sr. Miriam Thérèse of the Holy Face is one of three alumnae at the Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The others are Sr. Paula Grimm (’08) and Sr. Pauline of Christ (Bridget Morey ’05). Please keep all three of these devoted nuns in your prayers!
Charles GoodrichOn May 14, 2008, two-year-old Charles Goodrich, son of Kathleen (Ellis ’99) and Glen (’00), was killed when struck by an out-of-control pickup truck whose driver and passengers were under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This Friday the Goodrich family and many of their friends will gather by Charles’ gravesite, as they do every year around the anniversary of his death, to pray — for the three people in that truck.
Mrs. Goodrich explained this tradition in a Facebook posting last year:
“This coming May 14 is the third anniversary of my son Charles’ death. Most of my friends know this, though I suspect that some of you never heard about it, so really quickly, the bare facts are these:
“I was walking to the store pulling my two and a half year old son in a wagon, carrying my four-month-old infant in a baby carrier. At about 2:15 on a Wednesday afternoon, a couple of known gangsters were joyriding through the school zone I was walking through. The man at the wheel, Roberto Villanueva, two weeks out of prison on parole (and unlicensed) was high on cocaine. The owner of the pickup truck, Albert Garcia, was in the passenger seat drinking Jack Daniels from the bottle. Cindy Nunez, a mutual friend, was in the back seat. Horseplay in the front caused the truck to jump the curb, striking Charles’ wagon and killing him pretty much instantly. The driver regained control and sped away.
“Later on, Albert Garcia pleaded guilty (against the advice of his attorney) to various charges, and asked for full sentencing - he was the one most responsible for the accident. He is serving the third year of his 20 year sentence. Roberto Villanueva, a previous offender, negotiated a little more, but did eventually plead guilty to various charges, and was sentenced to seven years. According to his attorney at the time of sentencing, he has reconnected with his Catholic faith while in prison, and has requested Masses to be said for our family on the anniversary. Cindy Nunez, I don’t know about, but her daughter came to Charles’ visitation and abjectly apologized - their family is very broken.
“So here is what I want. The anniversary is TAC Graduation Day, and most of you will be busy. So on Friday, May 13, I’ll be at the Santa Paula cemetery with my children, at 3pm, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for those three poor children of God. When people tell me they are praying for me, I appreciate it very much, and I know that it is the only thing pulling me through. But I am entirely wrapped in love and grace, surrounded by friends and family, supported by strangers and strengthened by the sacraments. These three people are vilified, tormented by guilt, and in probably the last place on earth where they can find comfort. They need your prayers.
“Christ said ‘Today I am sending you with My message of mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my Merciful Heart.’
“Come to the cemetery and join me in prayer, if you like, or if you can’t be there, pray wherever you are. If you don’t have time for the whole chaplet, pray this prayer: ‘O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus, as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.’
“I’m not tagging or targeting anyone in this note. I would like as many people to know about it as possible, because I want as many prayers offered for their conversion and peace as possible, but I don’t want to hold myself up as a model of anything at all. Share it with anyone that you think would like to know about it —- share this note on your Facebook profile, send it to your e-mail list, whatever you like. But please pray for this dear intention of mine.”
For those who are interested in joining the Goodriches in their prayers this year, Mrs. Goodrich recently sent out the following invitation:
“Some people have asked me if we are doing anything public to make Charles’ feast day this year. As I did last year, I’ll be going over to the Santa Paula Cemetery on the Friday before (that’s this Friday, May 11) at 3pm to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the needs of the three people who were in the truck that day. Anyone is welcome to join me, in body or in spirit, at that hour or at whatever hour of the day they are able to join in. Feel free to pass this message on to anyone who may be interested.”
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Update: A funeral will be held at Cross Winds Church, 6444 Sierra Court, Dublin, Calif. at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 14.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of David Ellis (’83) and the consolation of his wife, Carol, and their family. Recently retired from the Alameda (Calif.) Police Department, Officer Ellis died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday. He was the brother of Sabrina Bjornstrom (’79) and Jennifer Tenney (’85).
For most of his 30 years as a policeman, both in Alameda and previously in Oakland, Officer Ellis was assigned to motorcycle units, serving as the lead instructor for the motorcycle training of new traffic officers. Over the years he received numerous awards for his work, including being named Alameda’s Officer of the Year in 2009.
May his soul, and those of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.
“When we are surrounded by beauty,” Thomas Aquinas College’s late president Dr. Thomas E. Dillon often remarked, “our minds are better disposed to contemplate the true and the good.” In that spirit alumnus and composer David Isaac (’05) cites as his motivation “bringing beauty to my audiences” through music that moves both the heart and the mind.
On the weekend of May 19-20, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra will open its end-of-the-season concert with the premier of Mr. Isaac’s “Patriotic Overture” at the DesertView Performing Arts Center in SaddleBrooke, Ariz. Tickets are available online.
This good news from Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer (’99):
“Rosie has finished radiation, and is continuing with immunotherapy. She has had no significant side effects and is feeling well and happy. Thanks for all of the prayers, and please keep it up!”
It was while she was a student at Thomas Aquinas College that Sr. Juliana Schmitt, O.Cist. (’86), first became aware of her vocation to the religious life. Yet as is often the case, God’s plans for her unfolded slowly — and circuitously. So it took several years before Sr. Juliana found her way to the Valley of Our Lady Monastery in Prairie du Sac, Wis., where she now happily lives the life of a cloistered nun.
Sr. Julianna tells her vocation story in the upcoming issue of Religious Life magazine, humorously and candidly describing how God used her human foibles and weaknesses for His greater glory. “But even a misunderstanding of God’s message can be a real part of God’s ways,” she writes. “Mistakes and even sins within the decision process don’t bother God. He blithely uses all sorts of materials for His divine purposes!”
The article will appear in the magazine’s May/June edition, but thanks to the generosity of the Institute for Religious Life, the College has received permission to post Sr. Juliana’s story (PDF) online. Enjoy!
Original drawings by James Langley (’85) are on exhibition at the Beatification of Rev. Pierre-Adrien Toulorge, O.Praem, in Coutances, France, through May 6. The works, which come from Mr. Langley’s Via Dolorosa studies, will then travel to Dublin, where they will be exhibited at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress from June 10 to 17.
A professor at Savannah College of Art and Design, Mr. Langley previously taught at Franciscan University of Steubenville and has lectured at the University of Notre Dame, Brown University, and the Pontifical North American College in Rome. More of his art can be viewed at his website, www.langleyart.com.